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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

OFFICIAL HISTORY: ITS PITF'ALLS'AND CRITERIA
in the case of the other planets—called for the radically
new synthesis of Einstein to explain it and to embrace
ail the known elements in the case. In regard to a piece
of history there are always many facts which are
intractable whatever system we adopt, and thefe is
always a chance that one of these may be our perihelion
of Mercury. There is always a chance that in one of the
cases the discrepancy will become more monstrously
intractable as time goes on.

. Where the origins of the war of 1914 are concerned
there has always been one of these pockets of anomalous
fact, and so far as some of its aspects are concerned
some historians have been perturbed by it for over
twenty years. * Much of British diplomatic policy in the
nineteenth century was carried out under the shadow of
an awful obsession concerning what came to be known
for a long time as the Russian bogy. Some oŁ us can
remember how still in our young days, in the years
before 1914, we heard people speak with bated breath
of the colossal power that Russia seemed likely some day
to become. Our grandfathers were sometimes inclined
to suspect a Tsar unjustly or to quarrel with him un-
necessarily, when at bottom their anxiety was one for
the future—a haunting fear of what this Russian colossus
might come to be like. Since it is the formidable power
of Russia which has made Communism so dreadful to
us—and has made our attitude to it so different from
what it was fifteen years ago—an historian, building
his outer framework for a century of story from 1850
to 1950, might regard the fear of Russia as one of the
most permanent features of British policy in that period,

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